Thank you so much!!!! The photos are amazing, beautiful, fantastic. There is no adjective to describe the remarkable work you have done which reflects so well the atmosphere of the wedding. Thank you so much, your quirky eye and camera have been able to capture amazing moments and smiles of parents and friends, just at the right time. Unforgeable memories of our wedding! Thank you. If only we knew we would have bought you a ticket to come to Australia to come for our official wedding! We were so disappointed by the job that the photographer did here. But C' est la Vie! I will definitely recommend you to all my friends and family. Let us know if you're coming to Sydney!
Dina and Lance
Our featured couple chose a great venue for their ceremony and reception - The Bedford Swan Hotel which occupies a magnificent riverside location in the centre of Bedford in the county of Bedfordshire.
Our couple live and work in Australia (near Sydney since you're curious!) and had their "real" wedding ceremony - the legalities part - a few days prior near their home. The English leg was to take in friends and relations in the old country plus the bride's exotic connection with the French West Indies.
The ceremony at the Bedford Swan Hotel was conducted by Robby Evans. Robby is an independent family civil celebrant with many years experience officiating not only wedding and civil partnership ceremonies but a wide range of other important milestones in life. You can read more about Robby and her services on her website Devoted Ceremonies.
The Bedford Swan Hotel is immensely characterful both inside and outside. Locals - as Peter once was- will be familiar with the famous view of the hotel from the bridge:
The Bedford Swan Hotel image sequence would not be complete without ..... a swan!
If you cross the bridge to the opposite riverbank you can take in the vista of the hotel in the background. The area from which the next photo was shot is also useful as a location for formal group photos as the hotel itself has very limited outside facilities suitable for setpiece photographs:
This public park is just a stone's throw from the hotel so it is a great location for some of the group photos:
Dina and Lance had the hotel's State Room for both their ceremony and their reception. The State Room has a terrific first floor location overlooking the river. Natural light streaming through the large windows can be a challenge but one most professional photographers should be able to tackle. The next photo shows our couples ceremony in full swing:
Naturally there were no silly rules and regulations regarding photography during the ceremony and a good selection of photos and video clips was possible. Indeed some guests left their seats to shoot their own photos - almost unheard of in most register office and religious ceremonies in England. Here we see our couple affirming their wedding vows:
Dina and Lance designed their own ceremony in conjunction with their celebrant Robby and so could pretty much please themselves as to the content. There were some similarities with the Humanist ceremonies Peter has photographed but it really is up to the couple as to what the format will be:
The presence of young children at weddings can provoke very strong opinions both for and against. But they are so photogenic! And easily bribed with the odd snack!
We managed a few photos outside before the cold conditions encouraged everyone to think better of it. A walkabout is always a great photo opportunity as here where we see our bride and groom approaching the bridge:
Inside the Bedford Swan Hotel the 18th Century opulence shines through, the more so because of its recent multi-million refurbishment. The next photograph shows our bride in one of the many lounges:
After the ceremony the efficient staff turned around the Bedford Swan's State Room ready for the wedding breakfast. Here we can see the bride and groom taking it all in shortly before the arrival of the throng of guests from downstairs:
Dina and Lances' whole day was informal. There was no receiving line, our couple were simply announced then entered the State Room amid deafening cheers:
There were no formal speeches, just a few words of thanks from Lance. More time was devoted to mixing with old friends and seldom seen family members (remember our couple live on the opposite side of the planet!).
Our couple were in great demand by everyone with a camera, which was just about ..... everyone! Kids included:
There was no escape for Lance either! Camera phones seem to have pretty much taken over from compact cameras now, and its no wonder when you see the quality that can be achieved in favourable shooting conditions:
The evening was devoted to dancing ..... oh and to balloons! The DJ was himself married at the Bedford Swan Hotel a few months prior to our couple and so he had a great affinity with this wedding venue.
Guess what time of year our couple had their wedding!
Its great if an after dark closing photograph can be shot just to round off the coverage of the day, and what better place to shoot from than the bridge:
All content on this site is the copyright of Peter Riding of Ashton Lamont. Do not steal. I have a very particular set of skills I have acquired over a long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. Do not steal now, and that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you do steal, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. (With appreciation to Bryan in "Taken").